Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to raping and filming 7-year-old girl in dance studio

55-year-old Anthony Sampieri was out on parole on a previous rape conviction when he sexually assaulted the minor at a dance studio in Sydney


                            Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to raping and filming 7-year-old girl in dance studio

A convicted sex offender pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a young girl at a dance studio in Sydney while on parole.

According to news.com.au, 55-year-old Anthony Sampieri was arrested after he attacked and choked a seven-year-old girl inside a locked toilet cubicle on the Kogarah Studio premises on November 15, 2018. 

Between 7:30 pm and 7:45 pm that evening, Sampieri forcefully locked her in a cubicle in an upstairs area of the Arena building and held her at knifepoint, before choking her until she was "incapable of resistance" and sexually assaulting her.

Nicola Gilio, a father whose child was also at the dance class the victim was attending, went to look for her after he noticed that the seven-year-old had been missing for around 15 minutes.

He and dentist Jeffrey Stack, whose dental practice is in the same building, tracked her down to the upstairs toilet and kicked down the door to find Sampieri naked and filming the attack. 

In the ensuing altercation, Gilio had his head bashed in the cubicle door and was stabbed in the stomach and the back of his neck with a scalpel Sampieri was wielding. Stack, a former amateur boxer, put an end to the proceedings by punching the 55-year-old in the head and knocking him out.

Rachelle Youssef, whose shop is below the studio, said she heard "awful screaming" following by a "panicked yelling, 'call the police, call the police.'" over and over again. 

"It was really terrible," she said, "I went outside and the man who was stabbed came out bleeding. He was talking on the phone and walking and I said 'you have to sit down you have blood coming out.'"

Sampieri was arrested and it emerged that the 55-year-old was on parole at the time of the assault for a previous rape conviction but not wearing a GPS monitor as mandated.

This week, he appeared via video link in Sydney's Central Local Court and pleaded guilty to 10 of the 15 charges against him, including detaining the girl, choking her, committing two indecent acts while filming her, indecently assaulting her and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

As a result of the guilty pleas, five charges relating to alleged assaults and using a child to make child abuse material were withdrawn. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions had also withdrawn 21 other charges last month without providing a reason.

However, Sampieri is facing a further 29 charges in connection with making dozens of threatening and obscene phone calls to women in the weeks leading up to the attack at the dance studio.

The 55-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21 at the Downing Centre Local Court.

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